Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan excoriated CNN for their “deplorable behavior” for turning. a blind eye to the scandal surrounding anchor Chris Cuomo’s involvement in assisting his brother–NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo deal with the sexual harassment charges leveled against him.
Sullivan accused Chris Cuomo of putting brotherly love ahead of journalistic propriety and blaming CNN’s leadership for letting him get away with it.
“Here’s what CNN’s Chris Cuomo has done over the past weeks and months: failed to maintain the most basic of journalistic principles, which are independence, fairness and impartiality,” Sullivan wrote mentioning the NY state attorney general’s report that referenced him as one of his brother’s advisers and that he may have helped Gov. Cuomo draft statements in response to the allegations, including advice on how to deal with the media.
Sullivan also pointed out just how much leeway CNN gave Cuomo in dealing with his brother–they didn’t mind all the playful banter between them on his show when Gov. Cuomo was riding high for his Covid press conferences–before the nursing home scandal broke–and how they weren’t bothered by his close involvement when his brother’s scandals broke.
“And his employer, essentially, has let the star host get away with it. Cuomo’s normally news-driven prime-time show last week made no mention of one of the biggest stories of the day: the growing likelihood that his brother would either resign under pressure or be impeached. He’s been forbidden from covering or commenting on it. But there’s no reason to think that Cuomo has been disciplined in any meaningful way. Back in May, Chris Cuomo acknowledged, on air, that he had been “looped into calls” about his brother’s crisis.”
Cuomo is on an apparent pre-planned vacation to celebrate his birthday while calls for his brother to resign grow, but that’s not good enough for Sullivan who thinks that he should receive a significant unpaid suspension and that “CNN should be transparent with its viewers that its anchor acted unethically and that the network won’t countenance it.”
CNN might suspend Cuomo after his vacation ends but the chances are slim to none that they would admit that he acted unethically and won’t tolerate that type of behavior.